What is so "happy" about this valley??

So, as would any other Penn State student, I always refer to State College, PA as Happy Valley.  But one day I wondered why this town is actually called "Happy Valley".  Where did the name come from and is it actually true?  

I did some research and found that State College is called Happy Valley because during the Great Depression, it was not hit as hard by the economic downturn as other areas, mainly due to the college scene.  In a town full of college kids all from the same college, all united together,  with an awesome football team, and great weather, how could you not be happy?!  

In Psychology Today, State College was ranked one of the least stressful places in the U.S.  And a more recent rating put State College 19th among the "Smartest Places to Live."  It has also been named the No. 1 safest city in America.

Thus, going to college in a safe, recession proof, non stressful, college student filled town, there's no wonder they call it Happy Valley! :),8c8397f5&icp=1&.intl=us&sig=CVt5mQM3rxIEh4YJ2RY0rw--


I found this blog of high interest; I always wanted to know why State College was refer to as Happy Valley. I actually find it hard to believe that a city mainly revolving around a University is one of the safest, this is for the fact that most college campuses have many stories of crimes. This article leads me to believe that I am in a safe environment. --Thank you.

Thank you Joselyn for writing this blog! I was wondering the same thing! There is no doubt that State College is one of the best college towns there is and even better I think it is just the best university, period.

ahahaah state college definitely isn't the "safest" place. I went to High School here, and a lot goes down in this town. Even on campus, around 3 rapes happen per wekend that ARE REPORTED. That means even more aren't reported. I know this because my friend was raped on this campus, and the police told me this statistic

For example, in 2007 there were:

40 REPORTED burglaries

7 REPORTED non aggrivated assaults

163 REPORTED drug abuse violations

There are a total of 1269 offenses just in 2007. That I'm sure has gone up, my friends. And that's just on campus. A lot goes down in other parts of state college, I'm sure.


Yes, but surely the issue is not whether State College is crime-free (no where is), but rather how it compares with other places.... How do we compare?

Actually, I know like five girls who were raped in this town. Amazing to know we're walking around campus surrounded by a bunch of rapists, isn't it? I think that a lot of these men don't consider themselves rapists, because sometimes the man feels the woman "wants it" based on her attire, or she says "No" in a playful way and he thinks she's kidding but really she doesn't want it. Sometimes the line is blurred for the man, especially when alcohol is involved.

We could look up statistics. I'm sure it's less crime than a lot of other places. It just bothers me when people say state college is completely "safe." As someone who has lived here for years, I know it isn't.

The claim above is that SC is America's safest city. Is this true?

In response to the rape cases, I actually looked up the statistics. On our college campus in 2008, only 9 cases of forcible rape were reported. I then compared it to another university with a similar demographic and size as our university, Syracuse, which reported 15 cases of forcible rape in 2008. Now, granted, rape does not necessarily determine the happiness and safeness of a place, but I have to admit that I feel much better here (all-around) than I do in my hometown, Philadelphia. Aside from these statistics, I think there is something very psychological about being here in happy valley. How can someone be unhappy in a place where people are very friendly, there is unbounded school spirit, and the academics are so inspiring? I find it hard to believe that anyone would classify our surroundings as anything less than happy... would you call PSU "mediocrely-satisfied valey"? I think not...
^ Statistics from http://ope.ed.gov/security/

I'm sorry, but this blog was not supposed to stir up any controversies about rape or any other safety issues. It was just in a statistic I found from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_College,_Pennsylvania (which came up as a completely different link in my blog) and the statistic, and I quote, said this..

In 2008, State College was ranked as the second safest metropolitan area in the United States by the CQ Press,[2] and ranked safest in 2009.[3]

"Sperling's BestPlaces research group has previously ranked State College the No.1 safest small city in America, and Forbes, thanks in large part to the tremendous amount of research conducted at the University, listed State College among the top 10 smaller metro areas in which to start a career or business."[8]

I'm sorry if anyone was hurt by this statistic, but it is not something I made up, It's actually there. And I am very sorry to hear about your friend.

I was simply stating what a police officer told me. If you don't believe it, that's your problem.

Folks - great discussion. My plan is to do something more formal on risk later in the semester. Clearly we need a way to think about such issues.

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